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Q: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   8 Comments )
Subject: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: kimera-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 09 Jul 2002 20:45 PDT
Expires: 08 Aug 2002 20:45 PDT
Question ID: 38025
How can I get my exboyfriend who has been living without paying rent
in my home to move out? He says he won't go.
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
Answered By: fugitive-ga on 09 Jul 2002 21:23 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
First, the usual disclaimer that this is not official legal advice. In
fact, most communities have some sort of free legal aid society (not
all, I confess) to which I would refer you. Feel free to ask for
clarification identifying your broad geographic area (e.g., St. Louis
metropolitan area).

The initial problem is indeed that I need to know your general
geographic location. If you need clarification, don't supply a full
address, but something on the order of "the Chicago area" or "north
eastern Pennsylvania" will help. This is because legal procedures vary
from location to location.

Here is a good link to identify pro bono (that's the term for free
services donated by lawyers for the public good) legal services that
will allow you to select your state to determine what free legal
services are available to you.

   Legal Help for the Poor - State by State Listing of Pro Bono

I'm egotistical enough to think I can answer your question, but
rational enough to realize that you should deal with the professionals
(lawyers) for this question. They're not all evil, contrary to popular
belief! The best thing to do is to identify your local free legal aid
people and rely upon THEIR expertise.

You also can go to and enter a search using the
following terms as an example to find your area legal aid resources
(include all punctuation such as quotes and plus signs):

   +seattle +"legal aid"


   +seattle +"pro bono"

Just change the word "seattle" to the nearest large city to where you
reside and you should be able to identify the existence of free legal
services in your area. You'll get general results, but it's a good
approach to identifying services that might not appear in the
directory from the first link I listed.

I don't think the following advice (and links) will be useful in your
situation (he's refusing to go) but I'll give them to you "just in

This following site will tell you "How to Evict a Tenant" and might be
of use. You'll have to register (it's free) in order to see the entire

   eHow How to Evict a Tenant

The first piece of advice this document gives is:

"Determine valid reasons under local laws for evicting the tenant,
such as failure to pay rent, repeated violations or the breach of a
lease clause."

This is repetitive, but local law will be the most important factor on
how you should proceed. There are other issues in addition to the
tenancy one that can make this more complex, thus, I again urge you to
seek competent counsel.

The same general "ehow" site with the "How to Evict a Tenant" document
is at:

It also lists the following three "How to" documents that might be

   How to Breakup Peacefully

   How to Handle a Cheating Boyfriend
   Understand Your Legal Rights as a Battered Woman

I don't know if you are being cheated upon, or are being battered, but
the general advice in these documents could be useful even if you're
not in those circumstances. I leave it up to you to determine their
usefulness for yourself.

Since I don't know your personal circumstances, I would be leery of
giving you advice like "just do it" or "get a family member to help
you." Depending upon your specific situation, both of those options
could be of use.

Personally? I've had to kick out a live-in guest (not a boyfriend or
girlfriend) and it wasn't easy. In the end, my personal decision was
based on the realization that NOT kicking them out was far worse than
the pain and awkwardness of just telling them to go. My exact words

"I can't take this any more and I don't want to make a scene. Pick up
your stuff, and go. Now."

Good luck and my thoughts are with you with what I know will not be an
easy process.


Request for Answer Clarification by kimera-ga on 09 Jul 2002 21:44 PDT
Thanks for the response. I am in Los Angeles. From what I understand,
he could be considered a trespasser, since we have no written or oral
agreement concerning any kind of rent. The matter is further
complicated by the fact that he has a large dog. I have asked him to
go. He seems to think that because he has had mail delivered here that
he has a right to be here and cannot be forced to leave. I can afford
a lawyer, I just don't know how to go about finding one. Thanks for
your advice.

Clarification of Answer by fugitive-ga on 09 Jul 2002 22:50 PDT
Ah, Los Angeles! I lived there for 25 years (Culver City, Norwalk,
Santa Fe Springs, Westwood, Venice Beach, Downey, Bellflower, Cerritos
... typical Angeleno now an "evolving Midwesterner"). Tenancy laws are
trickier their from city to city (Santa Monica is radically different
from Long Beach!) and thus the ante on good local legal advice goes
up. I recommend:

   State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral and Information Service

for general legal referrals. It's a solid site.

Even though you say you can afford a lawyer (And I do believe you!)
I'd still recommend looking at the local LA legal aid folks at:

   Los Angeles Legal Aid

At the very least, these folks are best able to give you further
referrals to specific lawyer who might specialize in your situation.
The non-profit motivation of the legal aid folks lends an air of
objectivity to their advice. I wouldn't hesitate to call them, express
your situation (including stating you can afford a lawyer) and ask
them for references.

I'm going to read between the lines when you say "he has a large dog"
and infer that a possibility of violence exists (not necessarily a
high one). The legal aid people, not being driven by a profit motive,
are again most likely to give you good referrals for your situation.

It's pretty easy to find California State law that is relevant (as you
mention "trespassing") but the problem is that there are a number of
different laws and they are all open to interpretation to some extent.
That's where competent legal councsel comes in. I can easily refer you
to existing statutes in the state of California, but that's not the
same as interpreting them appropriately.

kimera-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: stockzguy-ga on 09 Jul 2002 22:21 PDT
Kim, I went through nearly the same thing with one of my "friends" as
all three of us were roommates and business "partners". We shared a
two bedroom townhouse in Fl. The one roommate was a liar, a cheat and
a stealer. He would drink orange juice and replace it with water. The
other roomate, (who was my friend and we eventually became business
partners) discovered that his 5 gallon jug of change was staying at
the same level, even though he was putting in more change for
Christmas. "Joe" confronted me one day and asked me straight, are you
going in my room and stealing change? I almost died from laughter.
Afterwards I realized the seriousness of the situation. I devised a
plan to catch the other roommate red-handed. My friend and biz partner
had already installed a lock on his bedroom door, which was being
compromised. We announced that we were going "fishing" on Saturday. We
grabbed the poles and went away for a good part of the day. "Joe" and
I discussed what was going to happen if this was indeed the other
roommate. He said if it is him, he will be confronted and told to get
the hell out. Well, when we came back, he did go into "Sams" room, and
was stealing the change. How did we know? I tape a thread to the back
of the lower part of the door, same color as the carpet, and attached
it to the baseboard, very securely, when we got home, we very
carefully opened to door, as to make sure we did not break the thread.
It was already broken. "Joe" had a huge confrontation with "Sam", to
the point of almost getting a rifle. "Joe" gave him 24 hours to pack
his stuff and get the ____ out. To this day "Sam" never admitted to
stealing the money. "Joe" and I are still friends.
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: kimera-ga on 09 Jul 2002 22:36 PDT
That was an amusing story. In my situation I have asked him to go, a
lot. Unfortunately he only goes for awhile, then wants to come back to
"get his stuff." And then he won't leave. If I lock him out he breaks
in. He informs me that I can't legally lock him out because he's had
mail delivered here and for that reason the police won't respond. I
don't know if that is true or not.
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: kimera-ga on 09 Jul 2002 22:56 PDT
Thanks for the advice and especially the clues on how to find or get a
referral to a lawyer. There are so many different kinds of practices,
it's a job just looking.

I came from the midwest originally and have been out here almost 25're not missing anything. We're in the middle of a heat
wave and all that.

Thanks again!
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: spencercat-ga on 09 Jul 2002 23:31 PDT

Call an attorney that performs unlawful detainers (evictions) to serve
your boyfriend a notice to terminate tenancy and follow it all the way
into court.  Could cost you $350-$450.  I have an attorney that I use
for that kind of work.  His name is Steve Alexander and his phone # is
310-540-2585 and he's in Torrance.
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: rmg-ga on 09 Jul 2002 23:41 PDT
You mention that your ex-boyfriend says that the police won't help
you, because he's had mail delivered at your address. It might be a
good idea to call the police department and ask them what they can do,
instead of taking his word for that. You might mention the break-ins,
as well. Protecting you is their job, and at the very least they could
tell you explicitly what they are able to do. Stay safe!
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: missy-ga on 10 Jul 2002 00:16 PDT

It sounds like your ex saw the movie "Love Stinks" 
( ), in which the ex-girlfriend used
the "I get my mail here, so I don't have to leave" ploy to stay in her
ex-fiance's home after he broke up with her.  I recall discussing this
particular bit with my upstairs neighbor, who is a US Postal carrier,
and her response was that it was not true.

She pointed out that if everyone whose mail came to my home could
claim it as residence, there'd be no room for me (I still get mail
from 5 tenants ago!), and told me to think about it - if the only
thing you need is to have your mail delivered somewhere to allow you
to live there, *anyone* could invade your home and live there rent

I've not been able to find any case on Findlaw which supports your
ex's assertion, and I'm fairly inclined to believe that my Postal
Carrier neighbor would know from laws relating to the mail.

I expect weisstho-ga, our resident attorney, will be along shortly to
explain whether or not your ex (or my neighbor) has some semblance of
Clue in the matter.

In fact, Tom handled a similar question on this subject a while back -
the questioner was here in Ohio, but the situation is basically the

ending a long term living together relationship

Goog luck with giving this guy the boot!  Between fugitive and Tom,
you've got a wealth of good advice to work with!

Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: strawhat-ga on 11 Jul 2002 05:14 PDT
Sometimes calling the non-emergency desk of the police department can
yield good information about this kind of situation. You can ask what
you would need in order to get someone unwelcome out of your home --
e.g. what is sufficient in the eyes of the police to arrest someone
for trespassing.
Subject: Re: Evicting Ex-boyfriend/Roomate
From: weisstho-ga on 11 Jul 2002 20:05 PDT
And thank you, Missy, for the kind introduction. 

Indeed, the lawyer option is best. Find someone who does
"landlord/tenant" law, and particularly the "landlord" side. The total
budget for this should be in the neighborhood of, oh, $400.  Ask for a
price up front. They have the forms on computer and can knock them
out, get him served, and get him out. They can also place the police
on notice, for safety's sake, of what is transpiring.

Lease agreement or not, eviction is still possible in most
jurisdictions, though I don't know California law off-hand.

Please do see my answer to the lady in Ohio that Missy refers to

Most importantly, be careful. Your safety is the most important thing.

Be prepared to change the locks. Talk to a locksmith before hand,
although talk to the lawyer before actually changing the locks to make
sure that you don't get crossways on some "self-help" lock-out issue.

Good Luck, 

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